Sugaring for Profit
Maple syrup production is rapidly growing around the Northeast and
offers a sound financial opportunity to utilize woodlots. This course
explores the range possibilities of maple sugaring on your land – be it
for supplemental income or for your livelihood. Also discussed are
“alternative” trees for production, including Birch and Black Walnut.
The content presented assumes the student has little past knowledge of
sugaring, but a background in agriculture or forestry will be very
BEGINNER/ALL LEVELS – This course is for who exploring the feasibility of sugaring on their land, and while the basics will be covered many seasoned sugarmakers will benefit from the content, especially new research that will be presented.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Identify the potential opportunities for producing maple sap and syrup on your land
- Develop and manage a forest stand for optimal maple sap production and long-term health and productivity
- Understand the costs and benefits of utilizing buckets, bags, gravity tubing, or vacuum enhanced tubing systems to gather sap
- Design a maple tubing system to achieve maximum sap yields in a cost-effective manner
- Understand the pros and cons and logistics of buying sap or leasing taps as a means of expanding your production
- Process sap into syrup in a cost effective manner that is appropriate for the size of the operation
- Filter, package, and label maple syrup for sale according to the new grading system developed by the International Maple Syrup Institute
The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis and ask questions to address your sugaring issues in real time. If you miss a webinar, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
Live instruction for the 2021-2022 season has ended, and the next live session will be in late November 2022. While we encourage live attendance so you have the opportunity to engage with the presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and posted in our online classroom for students to watch anytime. Once you have enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish.
Adam Wild is a maple enthusiast, Director of Cornell University's Uihlein Maple Research Forest and co-director of the Cornell Maple Program. The Uihlein Maple Research Forest, located in Lake Placid, NY, is a 350 acre forest conducting applied research and education for the maple industry. As director, Adam does research within their 6,000+ commercial maple tap operation along with tapping and producing other tree syrups such as birch and beech. Previously Adam was an Assistant Professor of Plant Sciences at SUNY Cobleskill where he developed and taught a course in maple syrup production. Adam has a M.S in Forest Ecology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry where he did research on maple sap sweetness. Although Adam grew up on a livestock and vegetable farm, he is a first generation maple farmer who started out tapping a couple trees and has progressed to operating the commercial scale operation at the Uihlein Forest.
StartWeek 1 Webinar Link and Recording
StartCritical Lessons for a Beginning Farmer, in Poetic Form
StartThe Foundations of Maple Sugaring in the US
StartIdentification of Sugar Maple
StartVideo on Hobby-Scale Maple Sugaring
StartFORUM: Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting Started with Sugaring
StartWeek 1 Quiz
StartMaple Syrup Production Beginner's Notebook